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Posts with tag wotlk-beta

Arcane Brilliance: Six things I love about being a Mage in the beta



Each week Arcane Brilliance takes a quick peek into the world of Mages. The peek has to be quick indeed, for to look any longer into that world is to invite madness. I mean, have you looked in there? There are people making copies of themselves, then their copies are turning people into penguins, then those penguins are getting set on fire and frozen, all at the same time...it's...it's not right. I don't know what it is, but it isn't right, people.

So...the giant nerf-patch of doom came down this week. It hit everyone. Except...Mages? Huh? What...how...who?

I had myself all braced for the nerf-bat to hit us, and well, I guess it whiffed? I dunno. Our Mirror Image is still awesome, our Deep Freeze still stuns, does good damage, and is instant, our Arcane Barrage is still on a glorious 3 second cooldown, and our Frostfire Bolt still benefits from every talent that affects either Fire or Frost spells. Surely Blizzard can't be happy with Mages being the actual, genuine kings of DPS in a physical universe that actually exists.

Virtually.

And only in beta form.

Cough.

We'll get a nerf in the cursed name of "balancing" eventually, I'm sure, but for now we get a reprieve. And I couldn't be happier.

This week, I'm going to list a few things--some of them big, some of them small--that I love about being a Mage in the beta right now. If even a few of these make it live, there is cause for rejoicing, and any that we lose in all of the class-polishing hobnobbery that goes on between now and that glorious day in which we install Northrend onto our hard drives will be cause to mourn. Join me after the jump for the list.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

3.0 PTR Character Copy open

In a sign that the 3.0 patch may be nearly upon us, the US PTR Character Copy utility is now up and running. There are no sign of premade characters yet, but it does allow you to transfer 4 of your existing characters to the US PvE or PvP Test realms. As usual, you must have an active Burning Crusade enabled account to participate.

The 3.0 patch, as you may recall, is the harbinger of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and will include many of Wrath's new features, including the new class talents and spells, barber shops, and even the Inscription trade skill. This is a huge step toward the release of the expansion itself, and we'll keep you updated on any further news we receive on the 3.0 PTR and everything beyond it.

[Thanks to Shawn for the heads up!]

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Skill Mastery: Horn of Winter

Horn of Winter is a Death Knight skill that was added in a recent build. Much like the Shaman's Strength of Earth Totem, this skill will give a strength and agility buff to nearby party or raid members -- 155 at the highest rank, to be exact.

It has advantages over Strength of Earth to be sure. It lasts 2 minutes like the totem, but unlike the totem, it's quite a bit more mobile, being a straight-up buff. If there's one drawback to the skill, it's finding the time to cast it.

A Death Knight nearly never sits idle while DPSing. Every global cooldown is precious as you strive to use your runes as soon as they refresh and shed runic power as soon as you have enough for your chosen runic power dump. Some Death Knights think that shoehorning Horn of Winter into there might be asking a bit much, and want it to, at the least, not cost any runic power.

Still, it's a very nice "upgraded" version of the Shaman's Strength of Earth totem, and 20 runic power (10 with a glyph) isn't that bad a cost, so if you're in a physical DPS heavy group or raid, and any Shamans aren't putting out that specific totem, it's worth using it. Any slight hiccup in your damage rotation is probably worth all the nice extra AP and melee critical strike rating you'll get from the buff. Just skip a couple Rune Strikes and cast it already!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Guides, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: World Explorin'


I'm sorry, folks, but I have to revisit the school-specific spell power discussion... yes, again! As a great many commenters have pointed out, school-specific spell power has recently been removed from the beta versions of the tailored Shadoweave and Spellfire sets. Its overall damage has been decreased and converted to spell power.

However, there are still school-specific spell power items out on the beta realms, like the Karazhan drop that no one ever really wants, Drape of the Righteous. (It's in such high demand that I, in fact, have two of them.) So is this scenario a sign that there will still be some school-specific spell power? A sign that Holy damage is somehow special? A sign that Blizzard is only half-way through removing school-specific spell power? Your guess is as good as anyone's.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Of Paladins and Primals

We'll start off with a question from Alja that we've probably answered before, but let's try to clear it up....

With +healing and +spell damage becoming just +spell power will this change items that are +fire damage or +nature damage? I currently have the spellfire set but wouldn't mind going frost for leveling purposes in the beta but my gear currently isn't set up for that, will specialized gear still exist or is everything become just spell power?

I haven't yet run into any gear that gives +spell power to a specific school of damage, but all existing gear that gives +spell damage to a specific school of damage retains its specific school of damage in Wrath, it's just called "spell power" instead of "spell damage." If anyone out there has seen new Northrend gear that contains school-specific spell damage, please speak up in the comments to let us know!

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: If you could choose your racials

If you haven't already checked out the list of updated racial abilities, you should. Some have been nerfed, others were buffed, and new ones, like the "Voodoo Shuffle" were added.

While racials are a nice bonus, they can weigh heavily on your racial decision when rolling a given class. For example, many Horde warriors roll Tauren because of the 5% health increase. This conflicts with rolling the race that you'd prefer combined with the class you desire.

There has been much speculation about what it would be like to be able to choose your own racials, and reader Mike even came up with a talent tree method for doing just that.

If you were given the power to choose, which three or four would you choose, and why? Keep in mind the overall balance which generally includes a passive ability, an active one, and one or two minor buffs to stats such as resistances, health, or professions.

Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Draenei, Blood Elves, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Things don't look pretty for PvP Hunters in 8926

The best thing you can say about Hunters in Wrath in this Beta build is that we still have the new Disengage, at least for now. In this build, most of our new PvP tools have had much of their new functionality removed or greatly scaled back in this build.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Mind Flay gets bigger crits, better beams


The class designers have filtered out a little more information regarding our Mind Flay upgrades, and it's very pleasant to hear. In addition to the higher coefficient on Mind Flay and gaining an ability to crit, Shadow Power will give Mind Flay 100% bonus damage crits, rather than the baseline 50%. This is very good news, because 50% crits just don't cut it anymore. Almost everybody has 100% bonus crit damage via talents, and not having the option to spec that way is quite a hurdle when you're trying to be competitive. Very good news indeed.

In less game changing but still exciting news, Mind Flay and other beam-type spells (Drain Life, Drain Soul, etc) will be getting a graphical overhaul. Perhaps they'll be more like Penance's fancy missiles? Or maybe they'll just be more of a beam than "behold my blue/green/purple/yellow squiggly line of doom!" Either way, I'm happy to hear it. I'm a firm believer in 'shinier is better.'

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Professions and Primals


Demonocracy asked....

Recently 22 slot bags have become available through a vendor in Shattrath for 1,200 gold each. When I saw this my first reaction was to buy-buy-buy, but I questioned whether this was an effort on Blizzard's part to draw gold out of the economy before Wrath. What are tailors capable of creating in terms of bags in Wrath?

Right now tailors in the beta with 410 skill can craft Frostweave Bags with 20 slots. However, it has pretty basic materials and I'd guess that there will be 22 slots, at least, at higher levels.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight Ghouls' baby name book

If you spec your Death Knight as Unholy, 30 points into the talent tree you get the Master of Ghouls ability which lets you control your ghoul like a pet. On the PvE beta realms, your ghoul doesn't have a name yet; it comes up "RandomPetName," as pictured to the right. However, on the new Murmur PvP realm (US only), level 80 Death Knight premade characters are getting names for their pet-ghouls. An enterprising poster on the beta forums is compiling a list of possible names using set prefixes and suffixes they've seen. Here's the list so far.

Prefixes Suffixes
Blight Basher
Bone Chewer
Brain Cruncher
Carrion Feeder
Corpse Gnaw
Crypt Gobbler
Dirt Grinder
Grave Leaper
Gravel Masher
Rib Muncher
Rot Ravager
Skull Ripper
Stone Slicer
Tomb Stalker

Basically, the ghoul names come from picking a prefix from column A and combining it with a suffix from column B. I hope my ghoul's name comes out to be GraveFeeder or CorpseCruncher. However, as you can imagine, some of these name combinations just will not fly as they may sound too R-rated. (In particular, Blizzard might want to consider killing the "Muncher" suffix altogether.) Similar to a Warlock's minion name, it appears that the ghoul's name stays constant, even after dismissing and resummoning. Blue forum poster Ghostcrawler says that generating a random name for every summon requires a code change that won't happen before Wrath hits. However, Ghostcrawler does say that the randomizing code will likely be included in a post-Wrath release.

Filed under: Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Some Gnomes glitched in Wrath beta


Gnomes can't handle their weapons. At least not in the Wrath beta. In a strange graphics glitch, gnomes of certain classes look as if their swords are glued to the backs of their hands instead of being grasped. The glitch occurs whether fighting or not. It doesn't happen with Warlocks, who hold their weapons correctly, but I was able to replicate it with a Rogue and there are Warrior screenshots elsewhere on the web. Some players are even reporting that their offhand weapon is floating away and seeming to fight by itself. Blue forum poster, Gradina, says that Blizzard knows about the issue and is working on a fix.

Now in the meantime, I think a little creativity is called for. Instead of stabbing or slicing with your sword, you could slap mobs upside the head. (Who doesn't like the phrase "upside the head"?) Or, you could spin around really quickly, Whirlwind style, and scrape everyone on the ankles, thereby cutting them down to your size. Maybe for the female Gnomes out there, you could use your weapon as a mirror for smoothing out split ends after a fight. And if your offhand weapon gets frisky and floats away? Take some time out for a bite of toast or to smell the roses while your extra weapon does all the work.

Filed under: Gnomes, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Bugs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Professions and gems


We'll start out today with a simple enchanting question from WarwolfSwe, who asked....

Is there and new rod for enchanting? And do i need to upgrade the standard Runed Adamantite Rod to a Runed Eternium Rod?

There is now a Runed Eternium Rod you can craft at 375 skill. And, yes, it does require a Runed Adamanite Rod to craft (though the other materials -- Greater Planar Essence and Primal Might may be placeholders, as they seem pretty old world-y).

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Read more →

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: Beta from A to Z

Today we've got achievements, zeppelins, and a few things in between. We'll start at the end of the alphabet and work forward from there with a question from tehvoid....

Any news about the come back of the boats and zeppelins' crews? Do boats in Northrend have a crew?

Yes! Well... sort of. Zeppelins currently have a single crew-member whom you cannot click on and doesn't speak. (Shown to the right -- and, yes, when the zeppelin moves, she pedals.) But the fact that they've bothered adding them in the first place suggests they do have plans for crewing these vessels.

For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.

Read more →

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Death Knight glyphs

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly weekend look at the first hero class, the Death Knight. Daniel Whitcomb is back after dealing with some light administrative work back at the Ebon Hold.

Inscription seems to be coming on to the beta server in bits and pieces, especially when it comes to the much looked for glyphs. One or two classes seem to trickle in each build, and in the latest build, it is the Death Knight's turn. Today, we'll take a quick look at the new Death Knight glyphs, and figure out how useful they'll be to the various playstyles and specs of the Death Knight. As always, it's worth noting that these are beta numbers, so things could change by the time Inscription and Death Knights see the light of day on live servers.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 3.0.2 and you



Each week, Arcane Brilliance journeys to the heart of Mageland, braves all the perils of Blinking backwards, premature sheep-breakage, and table-ninjas that infest that mystical place, and returns triumphant, bearing with it the spoils of its epic victory: one-to-two-thousand words, a center-aligned image of some type, and several dozen Wowhead links. It then distributes these treasures among the citizenry, spreading word of its conquests throughout the villages and townships, before kneeling before the King of Mageland and presenting him with the head of a Warlock.

And there is much rejoicing.


I don't know about you, but the idea of patch 3.0.2 scares the living crap out of me. I mean, I'm excited about a lot of it--changing my Mage's hairstyle and restoring his lower jaw, for instance (it still perplexes me how a barber can alter my entire facial structure)--but there are things about the impending patch that absolutely terrify me. Chief among these is that free respec.

Choosing a spec on the beta, where respecs cost a whopping 1 copper, has been difficult enough. Almost every talent we have now will be changed (in most cases improved), moved, or flat-out abolished when the patch hits, and many new talents will appear. Believe me when I say that none of the currently accepted level 70 talent specs will remain intact. In many ways, Mages, like every other class, are getting what amounts to a complete class reset. Everything we know about talent builds will essentially have to be forgotten and relearned. Even raids your guild knows frontward and back will become a crazy new adventure, and PvP will become a giant crap-shoot. The good news is that for at least that first week, the Arena playing field will be leveled completely.

But don't worry. Arcane Brilliance is here to help. Follow me after the break to see what kind of fun we can have with our 61 talent points after the patch hits.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

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